Colorado reports 552 coronavirus deaths as older cases are added to fatality totals

Colorado reported at least 552 deaths from the new coronavirus Thursday as officials worked to add older cases to the state’s total.

The state for the first time also included in that daily total 25 deaths that have been deemed “probable” for COVID-19. These include people who did not have a lab-confirmed positive test result, but their death certificate lists the cause of death as “COVID-19” or equivalent, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in news release.

There have been 2,237 people hospitalized since the outbreak was first confirmed in the state last month, but only 873 people were in Colorado hospitals with symptoms of the illness as of Wednesday afternoon, state data shows. At least 77 people since Tuesday either went home or were transferred to a lower level of care, like a rehabilitation facility.

More than 11,200 people have tested positive for or are believed to have COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory illness causes by the virus — though health officials have said between 65,000 and 75,000 have likely had the disease.

Health officials also confirmed 130 outbreaks at contained facilities such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities, factories and jails — seven more than the previous day.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Thursday that COVID-19 fatalities will be higher this week as officials tally previously unreported deaths. Deaths related to the new coronavirus are expected to jump by 130 this week as officials review death certificate data for unreported cases, health officials said, noting that these deaths did not all occur this past week, but were only just now entered into the state’s database.

The state also added a new chart to its COVID-19 website that tallies deaths by date of death, rather than when they were reported to the state. The results will lag by several days, officials said, but will give a better indication in the long-term about when Colorado’s deaths actually occurred. The most recent data shows three deaths occurred Wednesday.

The state health department announces new totals daily of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases based on what’s reported up from Colorado’s counties; though the deaths and positive test results may be announced on a particular day, they may have occurred any time in the past and are just now being reported to the state.

The 552 deaths announced Wednesday were 44 higher than the total reported Monday.

 

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